The Anfield Wrap’s match preview before Liverpool v Arsenal in the 2022-2023 Premier League at Anfield…
LAST weekend, Liverpool and Arsenal were both involved in a confident 4-1 romping.
Arsenal blew Leeds United away, while an embarrassing second half performance from The Reds away at Manchester City left questions hanging over many players’ positions in the side.
The differing levels of confidence going into Sunday’s tie increases its intrigue as a proposition. Historically, Arsenal have struggled to win at Anfield in the Premier League — with their last victory coming on September 2, 2012 — but with the side from North London having won all of their last seven in the league, they’re undoubtedly favourites coming into it.
Jürgen Klopp made major changes on Tuesday night and said the performance was little steps in the right direction, this begs a question regarding the starting 11 for Sunday.
Mo Salah and Cody Gakpo only featured in the second half and Darwin Nunez departed with 10 minutes still to play, supporting the idea that this could be the trio announced as starting at 3.30pm on Sunday.
Ibrahima Konate and Alisson Becker were standout performers for Liverpool on Tuesday night and could be expected to keep their place in the side.
Virgil van Dijk was ruled out through illness, but his recent performances may only be enough to secure him a place on the bench anyway. It would be risky to line up against the league leaders without your best defender, but it could be the rocket he needs to return to the glorious heights we’ve all become so accustomed to.
Robertson may also be expected to return after an underwhelming performance from Kostas Tsimikas resulted in his substitution in the 66th minute.
Klopp’s midfield choices are certainly limited with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho having each played two full 90 minutes in four days, could we see James Milner start alongside Harvey Elliott with the third position rotated at half time or on 60.
Mikel Arteta has not been forced into making many changes to his Arsenal side, not rotating more than two players out of the starting 11 since March 4, their 3-2 victory over AFC Bournemouth.
They have received a great boost with the return of talisman Gabriel Jesus, who scored twice in their most recent victory, and he always promises to be a handful for any Liverpool defenders given his record scoring or assisting nine times in the 13 appearances against us.
The worry that Liverpool’s holding midfielders are coming into Sunday with either very little or far too many minutes in their legs, is only exacerbated by the omnipresence of Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian has arguably been Arsenal’s standout performer with 10 goals and seven assists in 28 appearances from midfield, and promises to be a handful.
The recent history of the fixture points towards a high-scoring affair which, combined with an Arsenal side firing on all cylinders and a Liverpool front line capable of pulling a team to shreds in 45 minutes, means it promises to be an entertaining 90 minutes at the very least.
The worry for Liverpool comes with the knowledge that we are equally as susceptible to a complete and utter capitulation.
Arsenal will certainly come with a clear plan after last season’s 4-0 hammering, and their fans will be hoping Arteta can keep his inner Pep Guardiola in check and not rise to the crowd. We will be doing everything possible to get under his skin.
We may find that neither us nor their fans will be confident going into the game, yet both will be optimistic given the strange cocktail of relative history and current form.
Three points would be a massive moment in both our seasons.
Predicted 11: Alisson; Trent, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez
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